Last week, for the first time in his professional career, rookie kicker Alex Henery had a day to forger. Though he made his first three kicks on the afternoon, upping his season tally to eight-of-nine, with the only miss coming on a 60-yarder at the end of a half.
But the rest of the day was not so pretty for the rookie, as he pushed two consecutive attempts wide right in the fourth quarter. The Eagles lost the game by one point, as a devastated Henery stood on the sidelines in shock as the final seconds ticked off the clock.
"This pressure comes with the territory," said the NCAA's all-time most accurate kicker. "You make a kick; they'll think you're the best. You miss one, and you're right down to the bottom. I was very disappointed. I got off to a good start and those last two misses were my fault."
The Eagles coaches still have a lot of confidence in Henery, who is third in the league in field goals attempted with 11. The 24-year-old kicker told reporters following Sunday's loss that head coach Andy Reid approached him before Jeremy Maclin's game-ending fumble, telling him to "be ready to kick the game winner." Special teams coordinator Bobby April shares that confidence, and believes the rookie will bounce back from his disappointing performance.
"After his second miss, when the 49ers took the lead, he was genuinely dying to get a chance to kick the winning field goal," said April. "He's got to bounce back from it, he's got to overcome it, he's got to come off the canvas and come off that stool swinging. He has a chance this week. That's the good part."
The rookie kicker, who is converting field goals at the third-highest rate in the league among players in their first three NFL seasons (72.7%), is itching for a chance to redeem himself. He'll get that opportunity Sunday afternoon, when the Eagles take on the Bills in Buffalo.